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Rocking is fundamental



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'Think School of Rock, but with me at the helm," says Xanthe Alexis. "So more glitter and less body odor ... MOST days."

The west-side singer-songwriter is talking about life with her middle-school students, who'll be taking the stage at Zodiac later this month to perform a set of originals for friends, family and you.

This is the third year that the local musician is teaching twice-weekly classes in songwriting, collaboration and performance to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade protégés at the Little School on Vermijo. "I even throw in some music theory," notes Alexis, who recruited Alex Koshak to teach a drum workshop at the school earlier this month.

"These kids have eight weeks to become a full-on rock band," she says proudly, noting that her students' musical interests range from AC/DC to opera.

Sue Spengler, who runs the private home school, is no less enthusiastic about giving students a sense of what's involved in being a musician.

"I've been sharing with them snippets of articles and interviews about musicians from various sources, so they can see some of the process of what real musicians go through," she says. "I think it helps them to see that what they are experiencing is real, and not that much different."

This year's group has dubbed itself The Random Paper Jams, and you can cheer them on when they hit the Zodiac stage at 3 p.m., Feb. 28.

In other Zodiac news, Colorado Springs prodigal son Adam Lopez will be paying a return visit to play this Saturday's Four-Year Anniversary Rockabilly Masquerade. The former Mighty LoCasters leader is now based in Denver, where he plays guitar with Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels and fronts his own band called Adam Lopez & His Rhythm Review.

Also this week, on Friday, you can check out the new lineup of Edith Makes a Paper Chain at Front Range Barbeque. Viola player and vocalist Hilary Studebaker is back in the fold, while bass guitar duties are now being handled by Brett Andrus of Modbo and Men of Deep Throat fame.

Although Edith horn and keys player Jeremy Van Hoy tells us that both musicians sat in for a couple of gigs last November, now it's official. The evening will also feature a solo performance by Eros and the Eschaton's Katy Sleeveless.

Meanwhile, on the new album front, Frank Garcia — aka Clydesdale Entertainment emcee Frank G. — has just released his debut disc as a solo emcee. F.A.D.E.D., which stands for "Frank, All Day, Every Day," includes guest appearances from Bullhead*ded's Che Bong and Mad Trees' DJ Gravity (on the Milogic-produced "Perception Pyramids"), as well as collaborations with Stoney Bertz, Sean Ostrow and the emcee's Clydesdale crewmates.

The CD will be available at Independent Records by month's end, or you can order one directly through the artist's Facebook page at

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